migrant children

Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has announced it is ending a federal court agreement that limits how long migrant families with children can be detained.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan outlined the new policy Wednesday, which replaces the Flores settlement agreement.

That's been a longtime target of immigration hard-liners in the Trump administration, who contend the settlement has acted as a lure to families in Central America.

The children's lawyer was incensed. Her two tiny clients — one of them blind — had been in a shelter for three months, separated from their mother.

The family had traveled from Mexico to the United States, reaching Nogales, Arizona, on March 1, 2018. Officials at the border found that the mother, Nadia Pulido, had "credible" reasons for seeking asylum from an ex-partner who, she says, beat her and stalked her after their relationship ended.

JOHN MOORE / GETTY IMAGES

A 15-year-old boy from Houston, who was picked up by immigration authorities in Texas and sent to the Homestead children’s detention center even though he has lived in the U.S. since he was an infant and his parents live in the U.S., walked out of the facility on Sunday, two days after a story about his plight appeared in the Miami Herald.

"I'm here today because I want to put an end to this," Yazmin Juárez told members of Congress tearfully on Wednesday.

Lawmakers listened as Juárez testified about the preventable death of her daughter in 2018, weeks after they were released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

Olivier Contreras TNS

Two Democratic lawmakers, including one running for president, are calling on the company that operates the Homestead detention center for unaccompanied migrant children to disclose details on how Gen. John Kelly — President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff and ex-secretary of Homestead Security — landed a spot on its board of advisers.

When migrant children cross the border without their parents, they're sent to federal shelters until caseworkers can find them a good home. But everything changes when they turn 18. That's when, in many cases, they're handcuffed and locked up in an adult detention facility. The practice is sparking lawsuits and outrage from immigrant advocates.

Miami Herald

More than 15,000 children are being held in migrant children shelters around the country. A recent ProPublica investigation found some kids are reporting sexual assaults in shelters, and their allegations are not always thoroughly investigated.